Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, Insulin Resistance (IR), and sex hormones all share a complex relationship that, to date, modern medicine has yet to completely understand. At their most basic, they connect through the hormones of the body—and through an imbalance in these hormones that can lead to devastating symptoms.
Understanding the Hormonal Imbalance
To better comprehend the link between PCOS, IR, and sex hormones, it is important to differentiate which hormones are involved in each:
- Sex hormones: There are two categories of sex hormones—male sex hormones and female sex hormones. Male hormones are called androgens, and include testosterone. Female hormones include estrogen and progesterone, among others.
- PCOS: This hormonal disorder occurs when too many androgens are present in a woman’s system. PCOS hormones result in an increase in testosterone, in particular, and in the many symptoms that are associated with this condition, such as cystic ovaries.
- IR: This endocrine disorder occurs when the body’s cells become desensitized to the hormone insulin. Insulin is responsible for converting blood sugar, or glucose, into energy. When the cells are not responsive to insulin, blood sugar and insulin levels rise, as they are both left in the bloodstream.1
The hormonal system is very fragile, so it may be possible that IR causes sex hormone levels to change; however, a recent study sheds a little more light on the subject.2
The Relationship Between Insulin and Sex Hormones
Fulya Akin, Mehmet Bastemir, and Bunyamin Kaptanoglu released a study in 2007 that questions the relationship between insulin and sex hormone-binding globulin levels, or SHBG. Finding the relationship between these hormones may unlock some of the secrets of PCOS, as the condition encompasses both of them.
The study aimed at determining “the impact of insulin sensitivity on the relationship between sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and insulin levels during active weight loss in euthyroid obese women.”2 Sixty-four women were put on low-calorie diets, their metabolic markers and sex hormone levels measured before beginning the diet to establish a baseline. After adhering to the diet for 12 weeks, researchers noted a decrease in insulin, insulin resistance, and glucose; however, the secretion of insulin did not show a significant change and no important correlation between baseline SHBG and insulin levels were detected. After losing weight, researchers determined that the women experienced a negative correlation between SHBG and insulin levels. 2
Overall, Akin et al. report that sensitivity to insulin may play a role in the relationship between sex hormones and insulin.2
The other thing a women suffering Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) might do is to look into the Insulite Health supplements that are available. In particular, the PCOS System offers hormone-balancing effects that have been scientifically calibrated to reverse the condition. That means there is very much hope here, and, for women who properly educate themselves and take the precautions necessary to thwart the effects of the disease, no reason why PCOS has to be interpreted as a devastating diagnosis.
Learn more about the subject of Hormones and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and how it could be affecting your ability to get pregnant, visit us on the web at pcos.com